How Posture Effects Your Health
Did your Mama ever tell you, “Stand up straight. Stick your head up. Stick your chest out. Don’t slouch. Quit stooping?” Or maybe even, “Boy, get your head on straight.” Well, maybe they did. The problem is that a lot of times when your body, when your posture is off, when your head’s out in front of you, when you’re a little bit stooped, when you have one shoulder lower than the other, it’s not your fault. It’s your body’s way of compensating for something going on somewhere else.
Now, poor posture is not good for your health. The problem, though, is most of the time, poor posture is not something you can fix on your own. You can try but what happens is if one of bones in the upper part of your neck got a little bit misaligned, and you wouldn’t necessarily have to know it’s misaligned. You don’t necessarily have that neck pain or headaches to have a misalignment in the upper part of the neck but it could be throwing your posture off.
This could come from birth trauma. It could’ve come from a fall when you were younger, a sports injury, a possible abuse, car accidents, any possible ways one of the top two bones in your neck could’ve gotten misaligned and what it could’ve done is it could’ve pulled the head a little bit out of balance or it could’ve tilted your head a little forward or maybe a little backward, and so your body, in an attempt to keep the brain level, which always has to happen, made some compensations.
Let’s say for example, one of the bones at the top of your neck went to the side and it forced one ear a little higher than the other. Now, your brain’s off balancing. Your brain doesn’t like it, so your brain isn’t going to put up with it. It’s going to send messages forcing your body to compensate until the head levels. As a result, it might cause you to pull down one shoulder. It might go down and pull up one hip, making one leg shorter than the other.
That’s altered posture. What happens when your posture gets altered now? You have compensations in your body. Those compensations become weak spots. What happens over time is those weak spots can ultimately turn into neck pain or headaches. They can affect the nerves that go down the arms to the hands, causing numbness or pain. They can affect the back, the lower back. It can cause the disks to start to wedge towards one side because of the curve in the spine. It can affect the nerves that go down the leg in the form of sciatica. It can affect your knees, your hips. There’s so many people now, their hips are wearing out prematurely or their knees and they have to have replacements and a lot of times, it’s because their body is out of balance and they’re wearing down prematurely just like a car. As long as you keep your car aligned properly, it runs better. It lasts longer. Well, the same thing happens with your body. If your body gets out of line, it wears down early, prematurely.
Now, let’s look at it from the side. Let’s say for example, maybe one of the bones forced your head to go down a little bit. Well, the brain doesn’t like that either. So to get the brain back towards level, the only way you can do it is often times to push your head out in front of you. Now, your head’s in front of you but your body doesn’t like that either. It has got to be balanced. To get it balanced, it might tuck your but up under you to bring your head back over your body. What that does is it creates other altered stress points in your body. For every inch your hand moves forward adds an extra 10 pounds of stress or pressure on the neck. That can be a problem. Those disks can start to wear down early, prematurely, causing arthritis, degeneration, pain, neuromuscular pain down the arms in the back.
Let me give you a little test to see if maybe you might have some posture problems that you can’t correct on your own. First of all, look at your old pictures. If you look at old pictures and you always see your head got a little bit of the same tilt, that’s probably an underlying structure problem that just has never been corrected and no matter how many times you walk around trying to bend your head back, it’s still going to go back out.
Now, let me give you the test. This is a pretty simple test you can do at home. Stand in front of a mirror. Close your eyes and I want you to slowly turn your head to the right, back to the middle. Keep your eyes closed. Turn your head to the left, back to the middle. Now, before you open your eyes, what I want you to do is immediately get ready to focus on your earlobes in front of the mirror. As soon as you open them, look at the earlobes. Is one ear a little bit higher than the other ear. Now, shoot down your shoulders. Is one shoulder a little bit lower than the other shoulder?
If any of these things appear up, there’s a really good sign that you have some underlying structural issues that could be affecting your health and could be interfering with the nerves from your brain to your body to your heart, your stomach, your kidneys, your colon. This could be causing low energy, could be affecting how you sleep, could be affecting your blood pressure, could be affecting your immune function, all because one little bone at the top of the neck has thrown your posture out of alignment and it’s not a kind of posture you can correct on your own.
If you pass the test, now, let’s do this. One more test you can do if you have a spouse, you have a friend, family or roommate. This is what I want you to do next. Go and lay on the bed with your feet hanging off the edge of the bed. I want you to tell your partner, your friend, to come over and look straight down, push your heels together and see if they are the same length. See if they measure up exactly or if one’s a little shorter. It’s easier with shoes. You can do it barefooted. Put your thumbs on the end and measure it. But if you have heels, especially a flat heel, not a high heel, that’s a little tough, but if you have a flat heel, then you ought to be able to push those heels together and see if they line up, do they measure up. If they don’t, if one’s a little shorter than the other, then that means you’ve got postural compensations all the way down to your feet, which means that can be causing imbalances in your body, and, if they don’t already, eventually could turn into musculoskeletal problems and a lot of other health issues.
So, if you failed the test or if you happen to see that there’s some compensation somewhere, then what I suggest highly, is you find an upper cervical doctor near you. If you live in the Charlotte area, Matthews, Mint Hill, Pineville, Huntersville, Cornelius, Lake Norman, Lake Wylie, Gastonia, give our office a call. We never charge for a free consultation to find out what is causing your problem. Once we know the cause, then we’re going to do one of two things. If we can help you, we’ll tell you and we’ll explain to you what we need to do to help you. If we can’t, then we will try to find another specialist that we believe can help you and we will be happy to refer you to them so you can get the best care that you need for your particular situation.
Give our office a call. We’ll be happy to get you in. 704-588-5560. If you want to learn more, go to our website, uppercervicalspinecenter.com. We have lots of other interactive stuff going on there. Other videos that will give you more information. Please share this video with people that you know that may be having some postural imbalances could be affecting their health. Hope you have a great day. We look forward to meeting you soon.